Things Your Painter Probably Isn’t Going To Let You In On
There are many honest, experienced painting contractors out there that do wonderful jobs. While you shouldn’t assume all painters are out there to rob you, you should be armed with proper information so that you don’t end up in a bad situation.
The materials cost less than he said
It is not uncommon for painting contractors to charge homeowners above what they should for materials such as paint and primer. Know that they probably paid at least 25% less for these materials than they charged you for. Paint stores that have strong relationships with the painting contractor will usually give them great deals. This means that they can mark up the price on you and make a hefty amount of money. Insist on buying the paint yourself rather than getting charged more than you would have. This allows you to provide paint as needed instead of paying for paint you didn’t need — if you do, you can be sure they will take that excess paint to their next project.
He made a big accident
Accidents are unavoidable, and should sometimes be expected, especially when it comes to a serious painting job. A ladder may fall and hit a window, a painter may knock over that sculpture you bought, shattering it into pieces, or paint may splatter onto your new rug. Be sure that your painting contractor is covered through insurance, otherwise, you more than likely will not be compensated for it.
He didn’t give you real references
Hopefully your painting contractor gave you references from actual clients that were pleased with his or her work. However, remember he chose his best clients. Four satisfied clients out of 100 does not mean he does a great job. Be sure that his references don’t consist of friends and family disguising themselves as previously satisfied clients. Instead, search on trusted websites such as Angie’s list where you know that their feedback is real.
There might be lead in your home
Standard renovation procedures may include sanding, cutting, and demolition. These processes can create hazardous lead and dust chips when using lead-based paint, which is notoriously harmful to pets, children, and adults. Contractors can become EPA Lead Abatement Certified by taking courses that teach them how to safely contain the area, clean up afterward, minimize dust, and properly dispose of any hazardous materials.
Know that if your house was built before the 1980’s, your home probably contains lead based paint. This needs to be safely removed by a certified professional. The complications regarding your health that can be caused by lead dust or flakes in your home are endless, and extremely serious.
He’ll take your money and go
You get what you pay for. If you choose a painting contractor without the proper insurance, feedback, or proper credentials, you can be sure that there will be serious problems down the road. Deposits are the norm, and you should expect to pay one. It is normal to pay about 30-50% of the estimate in order for the painter to get the supply he needs. Any deposit requested above this is a red flag. Deposits protect both of you, but if you pay too high of one— the only party it protects is your painter, not you.
It is important to be at your home to supervise the work. While this may not be ideal, it is crucial if you want the job to be done, and done right. For example if a higher paying job is getting close to its expected completion date, they will not be prioritizing your job. Consider adding work time expectations into a contract, such as “Mondays and Tuesdays 8 hour days required.” When the workers leave for the day, have them tell you when they will be back and for how long.
He could take your house.
A construction lien is not a subject to be taken lightly. A construction lien is a legal hold on a house which can be filed by a home improvement contractor who has not been paid for his or her work on that house. It is important to know that if you do not pay them, the property can be sold to pay debts.